The All Progressives Congress Mandate Defenders has reacted to series of “dishonourable statements” coming from the Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, denying the existence of COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.
In a statement released to newsmen in Abuja on Thursday by its National Publicity Secretary, Ifeanyi Emeka, the group said it had been ignoring the governor because his views were insignificant, but has decided to respond because of the lives of many Nigerians that would be saved.
The group said COVID-19 is purely science and data driven, which does not require political statements to sound politically correct in moments of national health emergency.
It added: “We are still surprised that in spite of the fact that a Kogi man in the person of Engr. Suleiman Achimugu was the first victim of COVID-19 in Nigeria, Governor Bello is still denying the existence of the virus in the country.
“What about the late Chief of Staff to President Buhari, Chief Abba Kyari who was one of his greatest backers in the Presidential Villa but died of COVID-19 in the month of April this year?
“What about his former colleague in Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi who recently died of COVID-19 in the most unlikely manner?
“What about his own Chief Judge, Justice Nasir Ajanah; a man who gave him the Oath of Office for the second term who has just succumbed to COVID-19 in Abuja?
“We can go on naming and placing pictures to many Nigerians who have succumbed to COVID-19 in the most unfortunate circumstances.
“If Governor Bello had used the same amount of energy he is dissipating in his insensitive attacks against those leading the fight against COVID-19 in Nigeria in providing security to the Federal Medical Centre Lokoja, where hoodlums recently attacked health workers and carted away valuable equipments, the unfortunate incident would have been averted.
“But we have a governor who shirked his responsibilities and is playing to the gallery over an issue he knows little or nothing about.
“While we don’t want to join issues with him nor dabble in to the domestic affairs of his state, we are advising him to spare a thought for the 603 Nigerians who have died of COVID-19 pandemic as of 1st July, this year.
“Denying the existence of the virus is like insulting the memories of Abba Kyari and others who paid the supreme price in the fight against COVID-19 in the country.
“We therefore advice Governor Bello to face the challenges of governance in Kogi State and stop embarrassing President Muhammad Buhari over his public show of shame on COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.”